Wood Harris Recalls Losing Roles In The Best Man and Denzel Washington's Fallen

Tony "Little Duke" Evers (Wood Harris) talking to Damian Anderson in Creed III
(Image credit: MGM)

Creed III’s Wood Harris has been a Hollywood staple for three decades, appearing in classic films like Above the Rim, Paid in Full and Creed, and now he's back for the positively-received Creed III. Having worked since the 1990s, Harris has landed many memorable roles, but there are quite a few parts he didn’t secure in his decades-long career. The character actor recalled losing roles in two notable films – The Best Man and the Denzel Washington-led Fallen.

The Creed III star was promoting the threequel on the podcast Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsey when he was asked about what roles he didn’t get in Hollywood. Harris was candid, as he mentioned not being attached to certain parts whether he secured them or not. Just like most actors, the Hollywood vet admitted he doesn’t watch himself once a film is done outside a premiere. Wood Harris even revealed he doesn’t watch much outside of documentaries and sports, so he’s not missing out. However, he did mention losing out on the chance to star in the Denzel Washington cult classic. He said:

Now, there’s things I didn’t do like this movie Fallen with Denzel, and Gabriel Casseus ended up doing that role. That’s a role I wish I would’ve done that I didn’t.

So Wood Harris could’ve played Denzel Washington's brother, which Gabriel Cassueus ended up doing in the supernatural thriller. However, Harris didn’t lament over missing the chance to star alongside the two-time Oscar winner in the 1998 thriller. He did appear in Washington’s other 1998 release, The Siege, in a small role before sharing the screen in the classic sports drama Remember the Titans , where he played Julius Campbell opposite Washington's Herman Boone. So he got to flex his acting muscle alongside the Hollywood A-lister.

While he did eventually star opposite Denzel Washington, that wasn’t the only time Harris missed out on a major role. The Ant-Man alum spilled he almost starred in the 1990s drama-comedy The Best Man. He went up for Terrence Howard’s free-spirited and no-nonsense Quentin Spivey. The 53-year-old actor praised the Oscar nominee for his portrayal before speaking about his history with the classic romantic comedy.

I would’ve been the Terrence Howard role, but Terrence is perfect in that. I went to school with Malik Lee. So, when the script of The Best Man was being developed, it was when we were in college, too. I was privy to it early on, and it had something to do with the influence of the Terrance Howard character. But Terrence killed it.

Harris reiterated he doesn’t regret losing out on specific roles if the chosen actor does the character justice, so there are no sour grapes on the Hollywood vet’s part. He scored even more roles after Howard retired from acting again. However, the film and TV actor has good reason for not worrying about missed roles, with notable characters like Little Duke in the Creed franchise and being part of The Wire cast as Avon Barksdale under his belt.

Currently, moviegoers can see Wood Harris return as Little Duke in Creed III, now playing in theaters. While Harris doesn’t have any other projects coming up, there are more new 2023 movie releases premiering in the spring.

Adreon Patterson
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